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ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Hometown Website Supports Extreme Peaks of Traffic with The Rackspace Cloud

Design Firm Cybernautic Switches to Cloud Sites for Handling of Hundreds of Thousands of Site Visitors During Production and Broadcast of Emmy-Winning Show

SAN ANTONIO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Rackspace® Cloud, the cloud computing division of Rackspace Hosting (NYSE:RAX), today announced it enabled Cybernautic, a web design firm, to deliver a significant feat: host the website for ABC’s Emmy award-winning reality show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition without a single failure, serving millions of visitors continuously throughout the life of the project.

Cybernautic taps The Rackspace Cloud to keep its estimated 200 client websites up and running, including the recently constructed site for Brady Homes, the builder featured in this last Sunday’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition episode. The site handled more than 300,000 hits since going live including a spike of 41,000 users at once during peak times, such as during taping and construction, and immediately following the house “reveal.”

Cybernautic made the switch to The Rackspace Cloud when it was asked to design, build and host the ExtremeBradyHomes.com website as part of the popular show. The Extreme Makeover producers warned Cybernautic that the website would go down either during the taping and construction, or within 48 hours of the show’s initial airing. It was inevitable, according to the producers, based on historical experience with websites crashing for previous episodes. Cybernautic said they did not want to take any chances by using their dedicated servers, and turned to Rackspace Cloud Sites because of its reputation for scalability.

“In over 150 shows, it has been rare to find an Internet hosting company that was equipped to handle the traffic of thousands of people coming to a builder’s website,” said Conrad Ricketts, executive producer at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. “No doubt this is a testament to The Rackspace Cloud for handling what, in most cases, has been an impossible task. And, without failure, The Rackspace Cloud was able to keep the pipeline open to hundreds of subcontractors and trade workers, and thousands of volunteers who wanted to step up to help a family.”

Chad Parker, president and CEO of Cybernautic, said, “I have been impressed with the speed of the sites we run on Cloud Sites and amazed at the scalability. We haven’t had a single performance issue, even with all the heavy traffic the site received,” said Parker. “We have also been impressed with Cloud Servers, which we are using for other client projects that require greater control.”

Cloud Sites enables seamless scaling during unpredictable usage spikes, such as those Cybernautic realized during the Extreme Makeover construction period, and following the airing of the episode. Parker said price was also a key consideration, as his design firm has been growing steadily, and the cost of adding more servers to account for scaling had been increasing significantly.

The ExtremeBradyHomes.com website—plus the associated Facebook and Twitter accounts accounting for some 13,000 fans—served as hub of all online activity associated with the episode. Extreme Makeover released a minimum of two news releases per day through the site, and reporters covering the project depended on the site for these news updates. Over 5,000 volunteer applications were submitted via the site for roughly 2,500 available positions.

“We are proud to assist ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in changing the lives of the Montgomery family, and bringing the community together for such a great cause. The fact that we are one of the only web hosting services that has been able to seamlessly handle the website traffic generated by this popular primetime show speaks volumes about the value of our cloud services, especially the scalability, ease of use, and affordability,” said Emil Sayegh, general manager, The Rackspace Cloud. “We’re in the business of making IT easy and helping our customers focus on what they’re good at – in this case, helping families through charitable activities.”

About The Rackspace Cloud

The Rackspace Cloud provides on-demand scalable website, application and storage hosting backed by Fanatical Support®. Through its suite of cloud solutions, Cloud Sites™, Cloud Files™ and Cloud Servers™, The Rackspace Cloud enables astute developers and IT managers to minimize the hassles, upfront investments and high costs associated with dedicated hardware while offering the ability to easily scale hosting resources. For more information about The Rackspace Cloud, visit www.rackspacecloud.com or call 1-877-934-0409.

About Rackspace Hosting

Rackspace Hosting is the world’s leader in hosting and cloud computing and is ranked #43 on FORTUNE Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to work for in the United States for 2009. Rackspace provides its customers with Fanatical Support ® in delivering their portfolio of hosted IT services, including Managed Hosting, Cloud Computing and Email and Apps. For more information, visit www.rackspace.com.

About Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

The Emmy award winning reality program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” now in its 7th season, is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. It’s executive-produced by Anthony Dominici. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America. The show airs Sundays from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET on ABC.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of Rackspace Hosting could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including any statements concerning expected development, performance or operational results related to any particular customer or customers of our customers associated with our hosting solutions; any other statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include issues relating to the performance of a customer’s configuration caused by forces outside of the control of Rackspace; changes in the economy, technological and competitive factors, regulatory factors, and (vi), and other risks that are described in Rackspace Hosting’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2009, filed with the SEC on August 13, 2009. Except as required by law, Rackspace Hosting assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Angela Bartels.

Angela runs integrated marketing campaigns for Rackspace. She started at Rackspace in 2003 and has done everything from Linux support, account management, sales, product marketing and now lives in marketing. She left Rackspace in 2005 to work for PEER 1 Hosting but returned in 2009 because she was interested in the cloud computing movement (and has always been a Racker at heart). Angela is a strong believer in the power of storytelling.


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